PechaKucha Night Akron Volume 6 at the Akron Urban League

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PechaKucha Night Akron Volume 6 at the Akron Urban League

Poster designed by @ChampaignPaper

Another full house for PechaKucha Akron!

On February 3, 2017, PechaKucha Akron (@PKAkron) had another huge and very successful event, this time taking place at the Akron Urban League (@AkronUL) facility. When we arrived, we were surprised by the large size of the venue, but not surprised when 415 attendees arrived. We knew that PechaKucha Akron is a must-attend event in Akron, and we knew to come early to get good seats.

We appreciate the incredible work of the organizers of this event, and put this blog post together to thank both them and the sponsors.

PechaKucha Akron sponsors:

This blog post contains the official PechaKucha Akron descriptions of the talks, and videos from the event, as well as tweets in which attendees shared information and photos.


PechaKucha Akron Speakers

Welcome and introduction by Akron Urban League President and CEO Sadie Winlock and PechaKucha Akron's Annal Vyas (@anoo_vyas):


1) Bringing Broadcast TV Back to Akron

Speaker: Blue Green (@AroundAkronBlue - @BlueGreenAkron)

Official description of Blue Green's talk:

Blue is Blue Green and a storyteller in Akron. He's a co-funder of the Akronist and currently the creator, host and producer of a TV show on Western Reserve PBS called Around Akron with Blue Green.

A tireless supporter and promoter of all things good in Akron, Blue will be talking about bringing broadcast TV back to the city.

We also want to thank Blue Green for speaking at Stuart's Web Development Special Interest Group (SIG) about Akronist (@Akronist) TV on March 21, 2015! (Read about the 10 years of speakers in our blog post: Web Development SIG: So Long, and Thanks for all the Free Web Development Training!)


2) How First Grade Perpetuates World Hunger and Other Persistent Problems

Speaker: Chris Thompson (@ccarsonthompson) of Civic Collaboration Consultants (@civiccollab1)

Official description of Chris Thompson's talk:

Chris Thompson seriously thinks he can help change the world. As president of Civic Collaboration Consultants, he helps communities achieve enduring, positive change through cross-sector collaborations. He helps leaders design and sustain collaborations to address wicked, persistent challenges such as hunger, homelessness, public health and equitable economic growth. Chris has worked on civic issues in Northeast Ohio for more than 25 years, including nine years with the Fund for Our Economic Future. He’s a father to two, husband to one and grandfather to two (for now). When not working to change the world, he can be found in a river waving a stick.

Chris will be talking about how first grade perpetuates world hunger and other persistent problems.


3) Science About Staying Awake

Speaker: Carolyn Behrman, Ph.D., professor at The University of Akron (@UAkron) -- Department of Anthropology and Classical Studies and Experiential Learning Center for Entrepreneurship & Civic Engagement (@theEXLcenter)

Official description of Carolyn Behrman's talk:

Carolyn is an anthropologist and faculty member at The University of Akron. Anthropologists attempts to understand human experience using a range of perspectives and data to capture as full an picture as possible. Carolyn does this by using tools for studying human biology and human cultures. Her studies took her to Swaziland to study women’s work and family health, to Washington State to look at the ways people with few resources exploit their own flexibility (a very bad short term bargain) in urban trailer parks, and finally to Akron.

In Akron, she works with resettled refugees, and with a steadfast, low-income community hanging on across the tougher times Akron has experienced. From them she is learning about the ways people create security and power in unsecure settings. She is dedicated to the students of the University of Akron and loves working with her students on community-based learning projects. She is a member of the Akron Story Circle Project (watch for their book from UA Press next month) and serves on the core team of the Neighborhood Network and the board of the Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture.

For the past year, she has been part of the EXL Center for Experiential Learning at the University of Akron which she now co-directs with Annal Vyas. There is simply too much to say about EXL to fit here so drop by and visit them in 168 Bierce Library at UA to learn more.

Her very supportive spouse, Tim Matney is an archaeologist and also faculty at UA. They have two children who undoubtedly wish they had had the chance to talk their mother out of this to spare them the embarrassment.


4) Northeast Ohio's Love Affair with its Sports Teams

Speaker: Dan Labbe (@Dan_Labbe) is the Cleveland Browns (@Browns) reporter for (@ClevelandDotCom)

Official description of Dan Labbe's talk:

Dan Labbe is the second-string Browns reporter for with work also appearing in The Plain Dealer. He has been covering the Browns for three seasons and has been with for ten years. Born and raised in the Akron area, Dan attended Stow-Munroe Falls High School and graduated from Kent State University in 2005.

He'll explore the deep connection NEO has with its sports teams, and the highs and lows of those relationships.

We also want to thank Dan Labbe and the others who organized the October 18, 2012, @ClevelandDotCom Cleveland TweetUp (#CLEtweetup) at the Cleveland House of Blues (@HOBCleveland), where we won Cleveland Browns tickets.

Read our blog posts to learn more:


5) Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

Speaker: Brit Charek (@BritCharek), Executive Director of Crafty Mart (@CraftyMart) and a founding member of PechaKucha Akron (@PKAkron)

Official description of Brit Charek's talk:

Brit, who is currently on sabbatical from teaching high school English in rural Ohio, is the Executive Director of Crafty Mart and the Co-Founder of the Midwest Craft Con - now in its second year - as well as a Founding Member of PK Akron. She prides herself as a conscious consumer and an advocate for artists and creative entrepreneurs, and will always be a punk rocker at heart. She's mom to two amazing kiddos and is married to an extremely handsome man who founded the Akron Ale Fest.

Brit will be talking about her experience with postpartum depression and anxiety, which affects an estimated 10-20% of women.

PK Akron Vol 6 is happening Friday night at the Akron Urban League! Sign up for your free ticket on Eventbrite.

(Also check out the Wiggle, Jiggle, Giggle exhibit at the Akron Art Museum if you haven't already!)

Side note: In Brit Charek's bio, she recommends checking out the Akron Art Museum's (@AkronArtMuseum) "Jimmy Kuehnle: Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle" exhibit -- we agree! Here are our photos and videos from when we saw it.

You can see more photos from the Akron Art Prize Finale Reception in our blog post: Akron Art Prize 2016


6) Bricks Without Straw: The Adventures of a Junior High History Nerd

Speaker: Dave Lieberth, chair of The Summit County Historical Society of Akron Ohio (@schistorical) and founder of Akron's Lock 3 (@Lock3Akron) entertainment venue and Leadership Akron (@LeaderAkron).

Official description of Dave Lieberth's talk:

Dave Lieberth is an Akron historian, author and chairman of the Summit County Historical Society. He has been a civic activist for almost 40 years. He has been a broadcast journalist, attorney and mediator. For 10 years he was Deputy Mayor of Akron and founded the Lock 3 and Lock 4 entertainment venues in downtown Akron. He was a founder of Leadership Akron and serves on the boards of the Akron-Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Downtown Akron Partnership, the Akron Symphony and the LeBron James Family Foundation. He chairs the Community Engagement Committee of Summa Health.

He will be giving a presentation titled "Bricks Without Straw: The Adventures of a Junior High History Nerd"



7) Be a 21st Century Maker by Working Together.

Speaker: Rachel Wilkins Patel (@ClevelandRachel), founder of Bridge and Switch (@BridgeAndSwitch) and HER Ideas in Motion (@HERIdeas).

Official description of Rachel Wilkins Patel's talk:

Rachel is a former Google search manager. Long before joining Google, Rachel has been a web application developer, digital marketing strategist and community builder. She is best known for founding HER Ideas in Motion, the Midwest’s first girl-serving STEM initiative to promote mentorship for girls in technology and media to change the gender gap in STEAM careers. She won the Google Rise Award in 2014 and recipient of Fortune Magazine's Heroes of the 500 for building an IT community of practice in Northeast Ohio.

She'll be speaking about how to be a 21st century maker by working together.

Before PechaKucha Akron Volume 6, we knew of Rachel Wilkins Patel from hearing of the work of HER Ideas in Motion (@HERIdeas). To learn more, here is some information from the website:

HER Ideas in Motion is a Cleveland-based 501c3 nonprofit corporation focused on helping girls achieve in technology and media arts. Through hands-on workshops and tech clubs, girls learn technical and creative skills from professionals, while building their own projects. In addition, HER Ideas in Motion has developed a women-led approach that combines female technical and creative professionals teaching and mentoring girls to provide access to female role models in these fields. Through education and empowerment, HER Ideas in Motion aims to close the gender gap of the less than ¼ percent ratio of women to men working in these fields. Learn more in our Annual Report to the Community.

Some of the upcoming workshop topics for HER Ideas in Motion include: game-making, filmmaking, robot programing, and web development.


8) Silence: A Free Solution to All of Life's Problems

Speaker: Matthew T. Lee Ph.D. is a professor of sociology at The University of Akron (@UAkron).

Official description of Matthew T. Lee's talk:

Matthew T. Lee, PhD, is Professor of Sociology at the University of Akron, where he teaches classes such as "Love in Action" and "The Meaning of Life." He serves as Vice President of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love and is a Program Facilitator for Heart to Heart Communications. His latest co-authored book is titled The Heart of Religion. His wife Joanna is the Operations Manager for Summit Choral Society. They have two very active boys.

His talk is entitled "Silence: Preparing the Soil of our Lives to Nurture Growth."


9) Recording Artist and Entrepreneur

Speaker: Floco Torres (@FlocoTorres)

Official description of Floco Torres' talk:

Floco Torres (pronounced flock-o) is a recording artist and entrepreneur from Willingboro, New Jersey. Torres first gained recognition from the release of his single "Cherry Street" in 2011. As of 2017, Torres has released 21 projects as a solo artist and has added songwriter, record producer, bassist, music video director and project manager to his resume.

We don't have an official video of Floco Torres' PechaKucha Night Akron talk, but you can view his work on his YouTube Channel at:

We have a video of part of Floco Torres' presentation in this @sos_jr tweet:

Tweets & Retweets

Here are our 83 @sos_jr tweets and retweets sharing our experience at PechaKucha Night Akron. Please share any photos and videos that you find interesting by retweeting.


Follow PechaKucha Akron

To learn more about this event and future PechaKucha Akron events, please see these resources:


Related Blog Posts

We enjoy writing about PechaKucha Akron (@PKAkron) and PechaKucha Night Cleveland (@PKNCLE) events. It makes us feel even more engaged with PechaKucha. It also led to Stuart being asked by the PechaKucha Night Cleveland leadership team to do a special PechaKucha talk about our experiences to past presenters.

Please learn more about PechaKucha and the presenters by reading the following blog posts we have written. Enjoy!